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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,465 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Henning Mankell Narrator: Robin Sachs Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Kurt Wallander Mysteries Release Date: March 2011 ISBN: 9780307877970
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Every morning, Håkan von Enke takes a walk in the forest near his apartment in Stockholm. One winter’s day, however, he fails to come home, and it seems that the retired naval officer has vanished without trace. Detective Kurt Wallander is not officially involved in the investigation, but he has personal reasons for his interest in the case, as Håkan’s son is engaged to his daughter Linda. A few months earlier, at Håkan’s seventy-fifth birthday party, Kurt noticed that the old man appeared uneasy and seemed eager to talk about a controversial incident from his past career that remained shrouded in mystery. Could this be connected to his disappearance?

When Håkan’s wife, Louise, also goes missing, Wallander is determined to uncover the truth. His search leads him down dark and unexpected avenues involving espionage, betrayal, and new information about events during the Cold War that threatens to cause a political scandal on a scale unprecedented in Swedish history. The investigation also forces Kurt to look back over his own past and consider his hopes and regrets, as he comes to the unsettling realization that even those we love the most can remain strangers to us. And then, an even darker cloud appears on the horizon.

The return of Kurt Wallander for his final case has caused a sensation around the globe. The Troubled Man confirms Henning Mankell’s position as the king of crime writing.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “With his new Wallander novel, Mankell ups his game and enters John le Carré territory.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “[The] perpetually dour Swedish detective is at his gloomy best.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “At once richer in personal detail and more suspenseful than either a work of strictly mainstream fiction or a simple police novel could be. Mankell remains in the vanguard of those writers taking the crime story back to its origins in the realistic novel.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “A magnificent finale.”

    Financial Times

  • “Arguably Mankell’s best Wallander book—which makes the finale for his rule-breaking, overeating, over-drinking, depressed but ultimately good-hearted and righteous detective all the more poignant.”

    Plain Dealer

  • “Mankell’s prose is as blunt and pragmatic as his hero.”

    New Yorker

  • “By far the most personal and poignant in this classic and compulsive series.”

    New York Journal of Books 

  • “Mankell’s ability to unspool a mystery and Wallander’s ability to solve it are still at the head of the class.”

    Newsday

  • “A story that rings deep and hinges on personal stakes…It is the voice of the author—through his hero—and the illumination of layers of life in a thankless profession that lead into a delicious abyss of urgency battling with hopelessness, a rationalization of risk versus a reward already buried under a false headstone.”

    Oregonian

  • “A moving portrait of a man entering old age.”

    Times Literary Supplement (London)

  • “A richly embroidered tapestry.”

    Providence Journal

  • It’s an unforgettable finale . . . As satisfying for its emotional depth as its suspense . . . A gripping mystery. People (four stars)
  • With his new Wallander novel Mankell ups his game and enters John le Carré territory. Not only does The Troubled Man widen the scope of the detective’s investigations into the world of international geopolitics and the relationship of Sweden to the U.S. and Russia, it is a work of genuine heft and substance, a melancholy, elegiac book that is thoughtful and perceptive about memory, regret and the unfathomability of human nature . . . Marvelously astute about behavior and motivation, Mankell has created in Wallander a shambling central character whose unconventional personality is at least as compelling as the crimes he investigates . . . We can feel Mankell consciously saying goodbye to these people [from Wallander’s past] and that he will regret not writing about them as much as we will miss reading about them. Which is more, really, than words can say. Los Angeles Times
     
  • An absorbing and exciting work . . . The unique nature of The Troubled Man is how its two concerns—the search for the missing ex-officer, and Wallander’s emotional history and physical health—run along parallel (sometimes conjoining) tracks . . . The resulting book is at once richer in personal detail and more suspenseful than either a work of strictly mainstream fiction or a simple police novel could be. Mankell remains in the vanguard of those writers taking the crime story back to its origins in the realistic novel. San Francisco Chronicle
  • Readers whose knowledge of Scandinavian crime fiction goes beyond Stieg Larsson know that it was Henning Mankell who jump-started what has developed into a twenty-year Golden Age. Mankell’s latest novel, the final volume in his Kurt Wallander series, represents a landmark moment in the genre comparable to the swan songs of Ian Rankin’s John Rebus and John Harvey's Charlie Resnick . . . Moving and oddly inspiring. An unforgettable series finale. Booklist (starred)
  • Wallander makes a riveting [11th] appearance . . . Though shivering in the winter of his discontent, Wallander will grip the reader hard . . . He is that rare thing: a true original. Kirkus Reviews (starred)
  • Masterful . . .  Mankell deftly interweaves the problems of Swedish society with the personal challenges of one man trying to understand what happened and why. Publishers Weekly (starred)
  • A magnificent finale . . . Wallander finds himself embroiled in John le Carré–style cold war machinations . . . It’s to be hoped that Mankell may be persuaded to revive his grumpy Nordic inspector . . . He’s far too good to lose. Ian Thomson, Financial Times (UK)
  • The Troubled Man delivers in full as a whodunit, as all the Wallander books do . . . [It] brings in all the elements his fans would hope for . . . The Troubled Man is a sorrowful—how could it not be?—but fully satisfying conclusion to a great series. No Mankell reader will think of missing it. David Sexton, Evening Standard (UK)
  • The best of Mankell’s books, without a doubt  . . . A magisterial farewell. El Periódico (Spain)
  • By far the most touching Wallander novel. Brigitte (Germany)
  • The anchor of Wallander’s personality ensures that The Troubled Man operates as a good, gritty procedural . . . Mankell is undoubtedly a skilled writer with plenty of breadth, but it’s clear that his subtleties of character, plot, and pace achieve greatest expression in the Wallander series. James Urquhart, Independent on Sunday (UK)
     
  • With The Troubled Man, Mankell must have known he had to deliver something really special and that is precisely what he has done. This is a perfect valedictory novel if, that is, we believe Mankell won’t find some way to reactivate his hero . . . Fears the final appearance of a beloved character would be an anticlimax are quickly banished and it seems Mankell has worked hard to ensure his customary storytelling engines are firing on all cylinders, delivering one of the richest tomes in the Wallander canon. Barry Forshaw, Daily Express (UK)
  • Mankell has created a singular character with this policeman named Kurt Wallander, with whom he has reshaped the history of the European crime novel. La Razón (Spain)
  • The curtain falls for Kurt Wallander and it’s time to give him a standing ovation. If anyone doubted that he would become a classic, this final act proves it. Qué Leer (Spain)
  • Selected for the April 2011 Indie Next List
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • One of the 2011 Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books for Fiction
  • A 2012 Barry Award Finalist for Best Novel

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jackie | 2/15/2014

    " Kurt Wallender investigates a complex case in the final Wallender book, as the parents of his daughter's partner disappear. Were they Russian or CIA spies? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scout | 2/11/2014

    " There are two troubled men in this novel: Hakan von Enke, whom Wallander sees as a troubled man, and who goes missing - and Wallander himself, who is afraid of losing what is most important to him personally and professionally. Wallander investigates and solves the crime but, in the end, he admits that he doesn't have all the answers. This final Wallander novel shows Kurt continuing to neglect himself and his family almost until the end. And the end ain't pretty. Melancholy would be the word for how I felt when it was done. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Meg | 2/8/2014

    " this is 2.5 stars. good story...too long by a third. and I think there is something lost in the translation or these folks are seriously cold and rude to each other all the time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Therese | 2/1/2014

    " A really good book, very detailed and full of suspence till the very end! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Sharron | 1/11/2014

    " I'm heartbroken that this is the end of this series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ingeborg | 12/20/2013

    " Mankell's farewell to Kurt Wallender. I'll miss him, but I was getting tired of his complaining about getting old. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joan Cobb | 12/4/2013

    " A great Wallander story. Had me mystified and turning pages as fast as I could to the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joyce | 11/23/2013

    " I really enjoyed all of the Wallander series, and it was with great sadness to discover the "loss" of Kurt....after all the books, he felt real and you had empathy with/for him. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dsomer | 11/4/2013

    " I've listened to several Henning Mankell books through Audible.com. It's interesting that I felt more engaged with the ones I've listened to than this one that I am reading on my Kindle. I'm only 25% in to the book, so I'm hoping it gets better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Daniel Potter | 10/31/2013

    " Really enjoyed this book. Quickly went to the library and got a couple more by Mankell. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marianna | 10/16/2013

    " Not yet loving it as much as the others. Think it's the translation, it is awkward. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan Dougherty | 10/13/2013

    " My first Wallander was the last Wallander. After seeing Kenneth Brannagh on PBS as Wallander, it was him that I pictured all the way through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marc | 8/20/2013

    " Cold War secrets come to light...missing man, famed detective searches, finds more questions & his ageing mind further complicates matters. Well written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Clare | 12/18/2012

    " Good book. Have not read any of his other books, but was looking for a good book from a cold part of the world. Felt like a slow burn and I enjoyed it throughout. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Becki | 5/12/2012

    " Since I am two years older than the character Wallander, I found the book so personally disturbing that it detracted from another excellent mystery novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom Gorski | 4/17/2012

    " The last is the best...end of the Wallander series...I won't spoil the book by simply saying it is a compelling journey. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barbara Kennedy | 12/1/2011

    " I loved this book - but it broke my heart. I'm so glad that I didn't see any reviews that would give away the ending.This is a classic! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Helen | 8/20/2011

    " A great read. Felt very sad that this series is now over. Kurt Wallander is a legend. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Klenox Earthlinknet | 7/20/2011

    " Spoiler alert folks, this is the last of the series. I'd like to go back and read some more of the earlier books in the series. It all depends on who does the translation, as one that I read very plodding, all due to the skill of the translator. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stven | 6/9/2011

    " Save this one to read after you've read all the others. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa | 5/21/2011

    " A good mystery, and sad, and a fitting end to the Kurt Wallander series. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lori | 5/18/2011

    " A disappointment. I think Mankell has been fulfilling a contact with his last two books. This was an ignoble end to a fine crime series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joan | 5/16/2011

    " 3 1/2.

    Mankell has done a fine job of wrapping up this series, but it is not one of his best efforts.

    While I will be sorry to see the end of Kurt,I understand why this was a necessary exit.

    Thanks, Mr Mankell. You are so much better than Steig Larrson. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jim | 5/13/2011

    " Not with a bang but a whimper. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 5/12/2011

    " Slow, predictable, anti-climactic. Not the best way to end the Wallander series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 False | 5/7/2011

    " Sadly, the end of the Wallander series. I found it heartbreaking that Wallander spends the last ten years of his life in an Alzheimer's fog. I always wonder when authors of a popular character "kill them off." That's the bacon, Buster! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Murray | 5/5/2011

    " Intriguing tale, well worth the read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 5/4/2011

    " Inspector Kurt Wallander is experiencing some health problems in this latest book. According to the author this is the last in the Kurt Wallander series. There are some bittersweet moments with Kurt Wallander, as he enjoys time with his new granddaughter and other characters from his past. "

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About the Author
Author Henning Mankell

Henning Mankell (1948–2015) was Sweden’s most-read author worldwide. His novels, which include the bestselling Kurt Wallander mysteries, have been translated into thirty-seven languages with more than thirty million copies in print worldwide. He has received the Crime Writers’ Association’s Macallan Gold Dagger and the German Tolerance Prize and has been a three-time finalist for the Los Angeles Times Mystery/Thriller Book Prize. He divided his time between Sweden and Mozambique, where he worked as a director at Teatro Avenida.

About the Narrator

Robin Sachs (1951–2013), actor and narrator, was raised in London and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. His audiobook narrations earned ten Earphones Awards. His acting credits include Alias, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dynasty, Nowhere Man, Babylon 5, Diagnosis Murder, Galaxy Quest, Northfork, Ocean’s 11, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and Megalodon.